NORTH CAROLINA, Sporting Alert – Point guard Marcus Paige will make his season debut for North Carolina, after missing the first six games of the season.
Paige, a preseason Atlantic Coast Conference co-player of the year, has been on the sidelines with a broken right hand, but coach Roy Williams told ESPN’s Andy Katz that the star guard will feature for the No. 9 Tar Heels (5-1) against No. 2 Maryland on Tuesday.
Tuesday night’s game will be at Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill.
“He’ll play,” Williams said. “Unless something weird happens today in practice. He practiced Friday and Saturday.”
Paige, who has been in uniform for the last three games without playing, averaged 14.1 points and 4.5 assists per game last year, and he is expected to add the much-needed leadership and contributions to a North Carolina side that started the season ranked No. 1.
After opening the season 3-0, the Tar Heels were upset on the road by Northern Iowa.
Williams’ side has now won two straight and is set to be a handful for the second-ranked Maryland in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
The Terrapins (6-0) are off to an impressive start, but will be facing their first top 25 ranked team for the campaign.
Meanwhile, with Marcus Paige on the sidelines, Justin Jackson has been leading North Carolina on offense — averaging 14.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.
Kennedy Meeks has been impressive as well for the Tar Heels — averaging 14.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game and shooting 61 percent from the floor.